Local community helps develop Gingin surface water plan
Released 12 Apr 2011
The Department of Water said the plan was now in its final stages of development with a release due in May 2011.
"Formal consultation on the Gingin surface water allocation plan began in the 1990s when it was agreed an allocation plan was necessary for the surface water resources in Gingin," Department of Water Swan Avon Regional Manager Don Cummins said.
"The plan was released for a three month public comment period in September 2009. Responses we received covered a variety of issues like riparian rights, trading, maintaining environmental and permanent flows, monitoring, community consultation and the connectivity between surface and groundwater.
"We appreciate the time people took to make comments as they provided us with valuable information that we used to finalise the plan.
"The submissions are consistent with long term issues raised by the community."
A major issue addressed in the planning process was inability of some users to get their full entitlements in periods of low streamflow.
"We have seen a decrease in the volume of permanent flow in some watercourses and in some streams extended periods of no flow. This is particularly so in the middle and lower reaches of Gingin Brook during summer," Mr Cummins said.
"To improve reliability of supply to existing water users and to help protect the values associated with Gingin Brook we have set allocation limits at or below the volume of current licensed entitlements.
"This means that no more water than what is currently being taken (licensed and unlicensed) will be available for licensing. We will seek to recoup water where possible to avoid over allocation of these resources in the future."
The plan, which applies to Gingin Brook, Lennard Brook and their tributaries, will support the horticultural and agricultural industry by improving reliability of supply to existing surface water users while minimising the risk to the environmental values in the area.
Mr Cummins said the cooperation and interest shown by the local community had been valuable in developing the plan.
"In October 2010 a community meeting was held in Gingin with the aim of forming a community action group to help communicate local water management issues.
"We have already met with the newly formed action group to discuss our groundwater level monitoring program and the connectivity between groundwater and surface water in the area."
The department will continue to seek feedback from the community on water related issues.
"In February 2011 we invited community members to meet with department staff to learn more about groundwater in the Gingin area and the science used to help inform our water management decisions," he said.
Future meetings will be publicised in local papers, at key points in the community as well as through the newly formed community water action group.
The Gingin surface water allocation plan is scheduled for release in May 2011. Once released it will be available from our website or by contacting the Swan Avon Regional office on (08) 6250 8000.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441